Lexington Contenders Sharp in Churchill Workouts; 'Eric' Runs Wednesday
Updated: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 12:00 PM
Edited from Churchill Downs reports
Posted: Monday, April 12, 2004 4:52 PM
Stan Fulton's Fire Slam and Padua Stable's Quintons Gold Rush turned in sharp efforts in their final tune-ups at Churchill Downs for Saturday's $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland.
Fire Slam, who won the Lecomte (gr. III) at the Fair Grounds for trainer David Carroll, breezed four furlongs in :48.40 under jockey Jose Martinez, Jr. The move over a "fast" track was the fourth fastest of 38 at the distance. Carroll said the work had originally been scheduled for Tuesday, but it was moved up a day because of a forecast that called for substantial rain over the next two days.
"He worked beautifully," said Carroll. "Jose has ridden this horse on numerous occasions and he thought the horse was doing great. So we're going into the race on Saturday in great shape and we're looking forward to it."
The Coolmore Lexington will be the first race for Fire Slam since a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at the Fair Grounds on March 7. Pat Day will ride the son of Grand Slam in Saturday's race.
Quintons Gold Rush breezed five furlongs in 1:01 under jockey Justin Vitek, the third-best of 25 moves at the distance. The work was the first for the son of Wild Rush
since he was transferred from the care of California-based Mike Mitchell to the Churchill Downs barn of trainer Steve Asmussen. He finished fourth to Castledale in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 3.
Meanwhile, Borrego was scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs Monday afternoon to continue his preparations for Kentucky Derby 130. He was bound for Louisville on a flight from Hot Springs, Ark.
The son of El Prado
finished a strong second to the unbeaten Smarty Jones in Saturday's Arkansas Derby (gr. II) for trainer Beau Greely. That followed runner-up finishes by Greely's colt to Wimbledon in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) and Master David in the Sham. Borrego has a career record of 2-3-0 in six races.
Trainer Bobby Frankel has notified Churchill Downs officials Wood Memorial (gr. I) runner-up Master David would arrive at the Louisville track on Tuesday following a flight from New York.
Minister Eric, who had been expected to contest the Lexington, has been entered to run in Wednesday's seventh race at Keeneland. The Richard Mandella-trained colt is the 2-5 morning-line favorite for the 1 1/16-mile allowance race.
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